Pause For Paws: What To Do When Your Dog Has A Problem With His Feet
Owning a dog is often an adventure, especially with the more rambunctious breeds. Whether your dog is an outdoor explorer or canine couch potato, though, you need to keep an eye on his feet and always pause if there's a paw problem.
Protecting Your Pooch's Paws
Your dog's paws are an important part of his well-being, protecting him from all kinds of environmental hazards. They're shock absorbers for bones during runs and while jumping and serve as barriers between the feet and dangerous temperatures, both hot and cold. Take what steps you can to keep his paws in good working order:
- Examine your yard frequently for anything sharp or hazardous.
- Walk him on grass, instead of pavement on the hottest of days.
- If he'll tolerate wearing them, invest in a good set of booties for your dog.
- Regularly inspect paws for problems, such as tar stuck between pads or overgrown hair or nails.
Treatment For Paw Injuries
Unfortunately, your pooch may encounter a number of situations that could cause harm to his paws, no matter how careful you are. Should this occur, you need to address the problem right away:
- Use water to gently wash a pad wound, soaking or spraying as needed.
- Bring your dog under a good light, so you can really see the injury.
- Have someone help you, by comforting the dog and securing his position by holding him back.
- Apply pressure to an area that's bleeding, bandaging it if needed, but never too tightly.
- Check and change the bandage at least once a day, cleaning it, too.
The area between paw pads is very sensitive, so your dog may take objection to all the prodding and poking; however, if there's an injury or foreign object involved, this should not be ignored. If your dog responds to a tender spot or resists your efforts in any way, you'll probably need professional assistance.
When To Take Your Pooch To A Veterinary Hospital
Even if your pooch despises going to the vet, his paws are too important to take chances with. If you're unable to address a wound adequately or don't think it's healing, call your local animal hospital and explain the issue. If his pads ever seem burned (red, swollen and irritated), he may need antibiotics and bandages to help in recovery. If there's an object caught in the fur between pads and you can't extract it, you can try soaking, but if it remains, talk to your vet. Those nails on your dog are important, too, and trimming them can be dangerous, due to the vein inside, so speak with the dog doctor if you're unable to manicure them on your own.
Since your dog can't talk with words to tell you there's a developing concerning with his paw(s), you need to be keenly aware on your own. Watch for limping, though, and telltale licking, since different behaviors can speak for themselves. You are, after all, your dog's first line of defense and his ultimate connection to pawsitive and healthy living.
For further information, contact a clinic such as Kenmore Veterinary Hospital.